An OMERACT task force has made a first step towards agreement on an ultrasound definition of gout, but has failed to reach agreement on one crucial factor.
Taking into account the growing number of rheumatologists who are incorporating US into their research and clinical assessment of gout, the development of a standardized approach is imperative, the OMERACT Ultrasound Gout Task force group wrote in Rheumatology.
Using the Delphi process the Task Force, which included rheumatologist Helen Keen from the University of Western Australia in Perth, reached good agreement (>80%) for US definitions on double contour, tophus, aggregates, and erosion.
However no agreement was reached for the inclusion of synovitis (including power doppler).
The main reasons for the disagreement included the low specificity of these findings for gout, and the availability of standardized definitions for the lesion, they said.
“We are aware that specific definitions for synovitis and tenosynovitis for gout are needed, so this aspect will be part of a forthcoming international meeting of the OMERACT US Gout Task Force meeting and exercises on scoring and sensitivity to change,” they wrote.
“The results of this study provide preliminary consensus-based definitions of US gout lesions and the first step in ensuring a higher degree of homogeneity and comparability of results between studies and in dialy practice,” the task force concluded.